As the final ballots trickled in almost a month after election night, we would be lying if we said we weren’t disheartened by the sixteen-vote margin that ultimately denied Culver City’s youth the right to vote. But now, almost a month after the results have been certified, we’re trying to look at the outcome as less of a setback, and more of a stagnation.
Though frustrating, those sixteen votes don’t devalue the conversations sparked among neighbors, classmates, and politicians because of our measure. They don’t devalue the young people who canvassed every day after school for the promise of representation, and the grassroots activism that proved that minds can change — one neighbor at a time.
Progress is hard, but the growing pains and stagnations that come along with it are not a reason to shy away from change altogether. Rather than defining Measure VY by its ultimate defeat, we’re trying to view our campaign as an exciting step in the broader movement towards teen enfranchisement.
We will push for a similar measure in 2024, but regardless of votes cast then and now, Measure VY stands for a future where young people have a say in politics. This is a future that 8,293 Culver City voters already envision. That is a victory in itself.